SIGNS OF THE TIMES

Truth in the Time of the Signs

The Occult

According to American historian Jeffrey Burton Russell, author of “A History of Witchcraft”, popular interest in the occult grows “in periods of rapid social breakdown, when establishments cease to provide readily accepted answers, and people turn elsewhere for assurance.” – In our increasingly confused political, social and economic state this is happening now.

On October 31st 2018, MarketWatch reported in an article titled “Why Millennials are Ditching Religion for Witchcraft and Astrology”:

  • In tumultuous political times, the 18-30 demographic is reaching for the stars
  • “So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them”.
  • Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. 
  • The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Centre found. 
  • The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt the existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012. 
  • More than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science.
  • The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services, is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.
  • Banu Guler, co-founder of an artificial intelligence powered astrology app said “There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning.
  • Danielle Ayoka, the founder of a spiritual subscription service said her customer base is growing exponentially…. Millennials are much more open-minded.”

The 18thJanuary 2018 edition of The Guardian reported in their article, “Crystals, potions and tarot cards: the mystical rise of new age businesses”

  • Consumer appetite for spiritualism has sparked a rise in companies offering everything from AI-powered astrology apps to subscription boxes for white witches.
  • Harmony Nice has been practising the Wicca religion for about four years and has been sharing her beliefs with her 300,000-plus subscribers for just over a year. “Wicca is a nature- and pagan-based religion, with elements of witchcraft in it,” she says.  Itis part of a revival of new age spirituality.
  • According to the latest census, over 53,000 people in the UK are Pagan. Paganism can be described as an amalgamation of religions and spiritual traditions, which can include Wicca. 

Grazia on 9thOctober 2017 reported– There are currently eighteen active Covens registered with the UK Pagan Council all over the UK, though there are thought to be over a hundred.  At the last census in 2011 – over 11,000 individuals identified as Wiccans and over 1,000 identified as Witches.

In the USA– from 1990 to 2008, Trinity College in Connecticut ran three large, detailed religion surveys.  Those have shown that Wicca grew tremendously over this period.  From an estimated 8,000 Wiccans in 1990, they found there were about 340,000 practitioners in 2008.  They also estimated there were around 340,000 Pagans in 2008.  

Although Trinity College hasn’t run a survey since 2008, the Pew Research Center picked up the baton in 2014.  It found that 0.4% of Americans, or around 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan—which suggests continued robust growth for the communities.  The numbers on Wicca and Paganism may well undercount the total number of witches.  But whatever the exact number is, it’s clear that witches are among us—and the current trajectory suggests that their population will continue to grow.

The recent surge of supernatural themed films and television series has helped fuel this increased interest in the Occult – according to Women of Grace – 7thNovember 2017

“A Barna study conducted in 2006 found that four out of five teens had read Harry Potter.  As a result, one out of every eight teenagers (12%) said that the Potter chronicles increased their interest in witchcraft.  Three-quarters of America’s youth (73%) have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity, beyond mere media exposure or horoscope usage.

What does this mean?

Over 3,000 years ago we were told and warned about Occult practices, which are becoming more prevalent in our day;

Deuteronomy 18: 10 – 12– Let no one be found among you… who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord;

Micah 5: 10 – 15– “In that day,” declares the Lord,  “I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.  I will destroy your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.  I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles when I demolish your cities.  I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.”

Galatians 5: 19 – 21– The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Timothy 4: 1 – 2 – The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Revelation 9:21– Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

What does the Bible tell us about?– The Future

What does this mean for you?– Good News

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